We have screened porch that currently has outdoor carpet on the floor. We want to get rid of the carpet and maybe tile the porch. There is standard decking under the carpet. I have been told by both friends and a flooring contractor that we can just put cement board down and tile over it. However, there are, of course, small gaps in the decking, so some moisture will come up from the ground under the deck. My questions are:

  1. Can I just use regular cement board for this application?
  2. What thickness would I need?
  3. Are there any other considerations I am missing?

I have tiled a couple of of bathrooms and a fireplace and would like to tackle this project myself to save some money. Thanks.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. What's under the decking of this porch? Commented May 19, 2019 at 16:28

1 Answer 1


One of the joys of actual ceramic tile (as opposed to various plastic tile products) is a high tolerance for moisture.

The major consideration for any ceramic tile job is how solid the floor under it is - what it won't tolerate is much movement/flexing. Depending on the specifics of your existing deck/floor, that may be a reason to add layers to stiffen it.

  • Fully agree and I would test by placing a piece of backer board down and bouncing on it between the floor Joyce’s if it is solid no movement time to get started if it flexes an additional layer of plywood may be needed.+
    – Ed Beal
    Commented May 19, 2019 at 15:53
  • Thank you. The decking is about an 1/8 -1/4 inch apart and it is in great shape. So, as long as the floor doesn’t give, I am good to go? Last question - can I use slate tile or should we stick to ceramic? I am worried about ceramic getting slick. I am in NC, so we have some serious humidity. Thanks again.
    – Ariane
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 19:14

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